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Dog Gone: Florida Health Dept. Tosses Cody Onto The Unemployment Line
By Britney Hermiz :: Friday, December 11, 2009 :: 81253 Views :: Health & Fitness, Business & Finance, Government & Society

Florida, USA - If you ask the Clearwater BP gas station owner Karim Mansour, he will say they had a bone to pick with Cody and they won.  Florida’s health department inspector says the dog will no longer be able to join his owner to work. 

“Successful Chaldean business owners are known to fight for their employees.  It is perhaps one of the biggest reasons as to why they are successful.  You treat your workers great, they are loyal and work hard to make the business a success,” says Angela Yousif, a member of Clearwater areas Chamber of Commerce. 

Mansour, received a warning from the Florida Department of Health on Thursday, informing him that Cody would have to go or all of the store's food - mostly bottled soda, candy and other snacks - would be declared unfit for consumption.

Cody became quite famous at the Clearwater BP station as returning customers often greeted the friendly hound, wearing a BP logo shirt and name tag.  The chocolate Labrador retriever would often draw grins from customers when he greeted them at the drive-thru window.

Although Mansour says there's no way dog hair could get into the sealed packages of food, he'll leave his 6-year-old dog at home in the future.  Mansour, adopted the 6-year-old Cody three years ago and like many of his customers is saddened to see him forced out.

“I had no choice but to sign the warning,” says Manousr. His primary violation: "prohibited animals present in a food establishment."

Customers are disappointed at the move, with some calling for Cody to return.  "People in the store hearing what was going on kind of made a little protest," Mansour said.  Protestors commented that the move was ridiculous since all the food is pre-packaged and air sealed.  

Mansour said that in November, his usual health inspector stopped by and gave the dog a pass since Mansour's store only serves prepackaged food. After Cody’s fame began to grow, the health inspector's supervisor visited and laid down the law.

www.CHALDEAN.org researched the law and according to the federal Food & Drug Administration's food code, live animals may be allowed in stores in certain situations, provided that food contamination cannot result. One such circumstance: "In areas that are not used for food preparation, storage, sales, display, or dining, in which there are caged animals or animals that are similarly confined."

Mansour, upon learning about the FDA food code is now considering what steps he can take to give Cody back his job. 

St. Joseph, MI USA

St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church
2442 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Tel: (248) 528-3676
Fax: (248) 524-1957

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Constructing Pastor:
Rev. Sarhad Y. Jammo

Current Pastor:
Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Ayad Hanna

 Current Pastor: Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Msgr. Zouhair Toma (Kejbou) was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1947.  He was ordained a priest in Baghdad, Iraq in 1968, and accepted his first assignment to serve the community of Baquba.  The Monsignor’s leadership skills and organizational talents along with his mastery of theology were immediately evident.  He later assisted Sts. Peter and Paul in Al-Salehia, and St. George in New Baghdad.

In August, 1978 Monsignor Toma was called to serve the growing community of persecuted Chaldeans finding refuge in Australia.   Being the fist Chaldean priest to arrive in Australia he quickly established a parish for the Chaldeans in Sydney to serve their social and spiritual needs.  The parish was named after St. Thomas the Apostle and built a rectory. 

In 1989, for his incredible work he was granted the title of Monsignor, Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar for Australia and New Zealand.  Continuing his passionate work to serve the Chaldean community the Monsignor moved the Parish Center to a more accessible location and built a large church campus featuring a modern community center, residence quarters, and administrative offices in 1995. 

In 2003, Monsignor Toma added a magnificent church to replace the previous one in order to serve the fast growing community and also opened two other centers.  The first was Our Lady Guardian of Plants in Melbourne, and the second was Mar Addai the Apostle in Auckland, New Zealand.  Mar Addai in New Zealand included two very large churches along with rectories and community centers.  Overseeing the Patriarchal Vicariate for 28 years, he managed to inspire six more priests to help minister to the fast growing Chaldean community. 

In August 2006, Monsignor chose to assist the St. Thomas the Apostle Diocese in the U.S. as more Catholic churches were being built in America and address the growing need.  On October 2006, Monsignor was incardinated and appointed Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Troy.